There can be little doubt that the jobs report is a disappointing one. The number of jobs created is well below the number expected, and the only reason that the actual unemployment rate has fallen is that a significant number of people have abandoned their search, and taken themselves out of the employment market. While there is some hope in Ben Bernanke’s statement today that the economic recovery is taking hold, the fact is that the employment market is lagging well behind any general economic recovery.
It is worth noting again that the unemployment rate is well above what stimulus package proponents claimed that it would be in the aftermath of passing the stimulus package in 2009; a missed call that causes one to wonder about the accuracy of other governmental forecasts. I imagine that stimulus supporters will fall back on their traditional argument; that the situation would have been much worse without the stimulus package having been passed, but remember, there was a better stimulus plan available, and neither the Obama Administration, nor Congressional Democrats did so much as suggest the plan as an alternative to Keynesian stimulus.